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Relocating to Chicago, foodie seeks real estate advice!

I will be relocating to Chicago from Philadelphia and need help in the real estate search. I'm trying to narrow down a couple neighborhoods to (most likely) buy a condo in. What are some of the best "foodie" neighborhoods?

To be more specific I'd love a neighborhood that contained:
a great bakery
cute, non-chain, coffee shop
wine store (went to perman wine last time I was in town and LOVED it!)
farmer's market/place to buy good produce
good ethnic options (open to all ethnic food)
dive bar

In the non-food category, I'm in my late twenties and single, so I'm hoping to find a neighborhood with lots of young professionals. It wouldn't hurt if there was also a great bookstore and yoga studio!

I am a big runner, so I'd love to be by the lake, however I'm not married to that idea if the best neighborhood is more on the west side. I would like to be close to at least one cta line...I will likely be driving to work, however.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. I live Humboldt Park and love it. Does not have what you are looking for as far as I know though.
    For what you are mentioning I would recommend considering Roscoe Village and Lincoln Square.
    I can think several of each item you requested in both.
    The one exception is the yoga. Don't know.
    I have limited experience with the south side, FYI.

    1. The fact is, there are MANY such neighborhoods in Chicago and some of the suburbs. There's already a huge discussion with many such recommendations. You'll find it at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/437740

      As for the specific needs you've mentioned...

      a great bakery - see the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/542316

      cute, non-chain, coffee shop - just about every neighborhood has at least one, usually several

      wine store (went to perman wine last time I was in town and LOVED it!) - there are small wine stores all over; Binny's is the big local chain - www.binnys.com

      farmer's market/place to buy good produce - The biggest are Green City in Chicago ( www.chicagogreencitymarket.org ) and the one in Evanston ( www.cityofevanston.org/enjoy/market.s... ) but there are many others all over the city and suburbs, for a complete list see www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/...

      good ethnic options - just about every neighborhood has some ethnic food, and you'll be traveling all over the city for other kinds

      dive bar - pick a crummy neighborhood :)

      >> In the non-food category, I'm in my late twenties and single, so I'm hoping to find a neighborhood with lots of young professionals. It wouldn't hurt if there was also a great bookstore and yoga studio! - The Chowhound Team frowns upon discussions of anything other than food and beverage, sorry!


        To be more specific I'd love a neighborhood that contained:

        a great bakery Swedish Bakery, Taste of Heaven

        cute, non-chain, coffee shop Taste of Heaven, Kopi Cafe, Coffee Studio

        wine store (went to perman wine last time I was in town and LOVED it!) Andersonville Wine and Spirits, In Fine Spirits.

        farmer's market/place to buy good produce I would head to Green City for this, as it is not far by bus and is the best one in town.

        good ethnic options (open to all ethnic food) Swedish, Middle Eastern, Italian,

        dive bar SIMONS!!!!

        gastropub Hopleaf

        plus, a great indie bookstore in the neighborhood. There is a local gym which has yoga. The neighborhood is a mix of gay, straight, single, families, and offers just about anything you could possibly want, all with in 1/4 mile of the lake.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lulubelle

          I'd add to the Andersonville bakery attractions, Pasticceria Natalina, a great Italian pastry shop and would also mention Great Lake Pizza, which GQ magazine ranked as the best pizzeria in America last year.

        2. I think each person will vote for their own neighborhood, but I'd recommend Lakeview; somewhere between Roscoe and Diversey and east of Halsted. Lots of buses in the area and the Belmont stop of the El is relatively close.

          It's right on the lakefront and will keep you busy food-wise for a while. There are two boutique wine stores (Gourmet Grape and Kafke) and lots of BYOBs. You will also have a lot of ethnic food options ranging from sushi, Indian, Thai, Italian, Mexican and Turkish.

          House of Fine Chocolates is one of my favorite bakeries in the city. The Bagel is a Jewish deli with great bagels next door to the bakery.

          There is a little farmers' market in the Nettlehorst school playground during the summer.

          I'll let you explore the dive pubs (there are a ton), but I recommend Wilde for a gastro pub.

          The challenge is the non-chain coffee shop...but 6 out of 7 within walking distance isn't bad!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mmilanam

            I would have recommended Lakeview, as it has a slightly younger demographic than A-ville, and certainly the foodie-life there is outstanding, however the OP has a car, and Lakeview with a car is problematic, in fact, owning a car is the sole reason I moved out of Lakeview.

          2. Hi: Your Chowhound post actually showed up on my condo listing's website. We are having open houses in Humboldt Park, if you are interested. Humboldt offers many Puerto Rican rstaurants, plus many other specialties.

            My condo has gated parking included, 2 bed/2 bath, granite, marble, stainless appliances.......$254,900. I bought there knowing I would also drive to work, like yourself. Young professionals in the 6-unit building.

            Thanks, Jim

            1. >> ...I will likely be driving to work

              Your commute to work is probably going to be a lot more important than proximity to food resources. You will probably be making that drive ten times a week, during the prime commuting hours. Food stores and restaurants may be important to you but you'll probably find ones close by no matter where you are, and you can always travel anywhere in the city or suburbs once in a while.

              May I ask your work location (city neighborhood or suburban town)? Depending on where it is, there may be some foodie areas that are close by or conveniently located for commuting there.

              1. I will second the Lincoln Square area. Especially between the Western and Rockwell Brown line stations.

                -- Great Bakery: that I don't know since I'm not a sweet eater.
                -- Coffee Shop: On Rockwell there is a cute little one called Beans & Bagels. But favorite is The Grind in Lincoln Square proper.
                -- 3 Wine Store: Provance, Fine Wine Brokers, and there is quite a selection in the new gormet Gene's Sausage Shop
                -- Farmers Market/good produce - HarvesTime on Lawerence/Talman. Cheap but an excellent selection. Also, Whole Foods is not that far away on the Brown Line (Paulina)
                -- Good ethnic Options: Middle Eastern, Mexican, some Indian, a great Vietnamese sandwich shop by HarvesTime, excellent Thai, really good American-Chinese, Korean BBQ, etc etc etc.
                -- Dive Bar: I'm sure you aren't looking for a "crummy neighborhood" but rather a non-trendy, beer, etc bar. Plenty in Lincoln Square. Huttenbar, Ricochet, Grafton just off the top of my head.
                --Gastropub - sorry, can't help you out there but plenty of excellent food options.

                It is very young professional but not the just out of college, lets party with my frat boys/soritory sisters! atmosphere of say Wrigleyville/parts of Lakeview. It is off the Brown Line and many busses that hit up the other parts of the city can be caught in the area. Lots of street festivals in the summer time. Farmers Market in the summer but unfortch, during the day. Horner Park on California and Wilson is almost 2 miles around . Lakefront is 2.5 miles away. Northwest Trail is 1.34 miles away. (I'm a runner too). Check out Bloom Studio for yoga. Love it! Teachers are fantastic. It is right off the Rockwell Brown line. I haven't driven in over 13 years. If you don't have to drive to work, I'd ditch the car as soon as possible.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lbs

                  For some reason - my edits won't save. Lincoln Square also has 2 butchers. One is a stand alone. The other is in the Gene's Sausage Store - which is huge and has a great selection of goods. Provenance has a nice seletion of cheeses.

                2. I'd agree that Andersonville has everything you're looking for. As I was going down your list, I was thinkingk, "check! check! check!"

                  Also, I'd have to disagree that Andersonville is an older crowd. I'm a 20-something that has lived there for 5 years and I find it to be a very young and hip community. Not to mention, you'll get twice as much for your money.

                  I also drive to work downtown and, after a 5 minute drive to LSD, I'm usually there in 20 minutes.

                  Hope this helps!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emiliewasmyeve

                    I meant older in the sense that it does not have the frat boy feel of Lakeview or Lincoln Park. My family has lived in A-ville for over 100 years now, and while it is certainly a hip place to be, it retains the charm of a community rather than the move-in/move-out feel of some of the other neighborhoods.